This summer for five weeks, I got the chance of a lifetime to study abroad in Paris, France. I enjoyed spending my days in a city filled with history and art; making it the prime backdrop for some quality instas. Here is my insight on some of the most highly photographed spots in Paris as well as some places I recommend you check out if you ever find yourself in the city of love.
1. EIFFEL TOWER: I have to start with this grand statue not only because it’s my favorite but it has become a statement piece for the city. Built in 1989 and named after the engineer, the Eiffel tower was created as the entrance way into the 1989 World’s Fair. At first, locals hated the piece of art because they felt it ruined the sky line. Today, Parisians love the iconic structure and so does the world as it is the most visited structure in the world.
INSTA: The best photos are at Tocadero, it’s the name of the metro stop and it’s located across the river from the Eiffel Tower. It’s beautiful to come here at night and take a picture; be sure to be there for the first five minutes of the hour and watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle. Personally, if the Eiffel is in your photo, you can’t go wrong.
RECOMMENDED FILTERS: Hudson, Rise, Reyes & Perpetua
2. PALAIS ROYAL: This building and courtyard is located across from the Louvre. It was originally the home of the Orleans family but when they ran into money trouble in the 19th century, part of the palace was converted into shops on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors. For the past few years, restoration has been trying to bring the palace back to a top shopping and living location in Paris.
INSTA: Take a stand on top any of the many black and white poles located on the inside of the square.
3. L’OPERA/ PALAIS GARNIER: Opened in 1875, L’Opera became famous for its development of French ballet and was the main Opera house until 1989, when the Opera Bastille was built and took over. Seasonal shows are still shown within the theatre but the building is must famously known for being the inspiration for the Phantom of the Opera.
INSTA: The grand balcony overlooking the street and the grand foyer room right before. The grand staircase also can’t be beat.
RECOMMENDED FILTERS: Aden & Crema
4. VERSAILLES: This grand palace is located 20 kilometers outside of Paris and was the home to French royalty during the Ancient Regime. The royal family moved out of the Louvre and into Versailles in 1682 and remained here up until the French Revolution in 1789. The last habitants of this castle where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Visits within the castle only show a small piece making it very crowded inside. The large gardens are more spacious and could take days to explore completely.
INSTA: The front door of the castle and hall of mirrors are great locations in the castle but the gardens are grand and are filled will acres and acres of beauty.
RECOMMENDED FILTERS: Ludwig, Juno, Slumber & Rise
5. LOUVRE: The world’s largest and most visited museum houses roughly 35,000 pieces of art. The art is divided into eight collections including Egyptian and Greek statues. World famous pieces are also featured, such as the statue of Venus and the Mona Lisa. Brave the crowd and explore this massive museum.
INSTA: The iconic glass pyramids which is the entryway into the museum but also instead there is so much artwork. Try to get your selfie with the Mona Lisa. It was a fight to get mine.
RECOMMENDED FILTERS: Rise, Sierra & Nashville
6. MUSEE D’ORSAY: The building itself is as beautiful as the art within. From 1989 until 1900, Orsay functioned as a railway station but now functions fully as a museum. Orsay mainly features French art from 1848 until 1915. The museum is known for its impressionist and post-impressionist painting collections.
INSTA: On the fifth floor, you can see one of its iconic grand clocks which are Instagram gold.
RECOMMENDED FILTERS: Earlybird &Lo-Fi
7. SACRE-COEUR: A church located at the summit of Montmartre, the highest point of the city, is filled with amazing views. The name Sacre-Coeur is French for sacred heart. Besides amazing views, the neighborhood surrounding the church is filled with quaint restaurant and shops that I would highly recommend exploring.
INSTA: The 360 view from the dome of the city can’t be beat or just the view of the church itself is beautiful.
RECOMMENDED FILTERS: Amaro, Perpetua & Valencia
8. CHAMPS-ELEYSEE: The grand avenue within Paris is known for theatre, cafes and luxury shops. Honestly, it’s probably the worst place in Paris to shop because of the crowds and poor selection of stores. The Champs-Eleysee is also famous for the Arc De Triomphe which stands at the end of the road. The Arc honors those who fought and died for France in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Under the Arc is the tomb of the unknown solider from World War I. The long avenue is the location of the famous military parade that occurs every Bastille Day, their national independence day.
INSTA: The view from the top of the Arc De Triomphe is my favorite view in the city. Get there just before sunset to enjoy the sun setting and then see the Eiffel Tower light up shortly after.
RECOMMENDED FILTERS: Perpetua & Reyes
9. SAINTE-CHAPELLE: This church was designed originally to display Christ’s crown of thorns and the idea was to use stain glass windows to make the inside look like a jewelry box. This gothic style church was built in 1248 and is located in what is considered the heart of the city. Today, the stained glass is considered to be the most extensive in the world.
INSTA: The stain glass on the second floor is beautifully colorful and covers the entire walls of the chapel.
RECOMENDED FILTERS: Juno & Rise
10. LOCK BRIDGE: Right before I left for France the original lock bridge was taken down. I thought that meant that the tradition was no longer in existence within Paris. Thankfully, I was wrong and you can still find a lock bridge behind Notre Dame and also on fencing near where the old bridge used to be. Other bridges in Paris are starting to fill with locks as well. It’s a popular tradition with the idea that two people in love have a lock that they hook onto the bridge and then throw the key into the river to symbolize love lasting forever or something along those lines.
INSTA: You don’t have to have any love to lock onto the bridge to get that quality insta.
RECOMMENDED FILTERS: Lo-Fi & Ludwig
Though this list is far from all that Paris has to offer, they are some of my favorite places in the city. Each avenue and road in Paris is filled with iconic architecture and design so it’s not hard to find something worth photographing. Exploring this vast and amazing city was definitely my favorite part of my stay. You just never knew where a simple stroll could take you. I hope that you will find yourself in Paris someday and can see all these beautiful locations for yourself.